Tailgaters beware: MSU police to crack down on booze at Munn Field Saturday
An unusual amount of on-campus alcohol citations during game day tailgating festivities last week have MSU police ready to crack down on any alcohol found on Munn Field on Saturday.
Campus police issued about 32 citations last Friday to tailgaters older than 21 for trespassing in an alcohol-free zone on Munn Field, MSU police Sgt. Florene McGlothian-Taylor said. She said several underage drinkers in the area also received minor in possession citations.
With the exception of campus buildings and Munn Field, of-age fans can have alcohol anywhere within university grounds during official tailgating hours, as long as participants follow MSU’s tailgating policies.
McGlothian-Taylor said officers will have extra notifications in place at Munn Field this Saturday morning to ensure tailgaters are fully aware of the no-drinking policies.
“As people walk in, we will be giving them written notice of the alcohol policy,” McGlothian-Taylor said. “We’re just trying to prevent people from getting citations.”
MSU Police Assistant Director Tony Kleibecker said Munn Field has been booze-free for years, an action prompted by student tailgates getting out of control in the mid-1990s. He said most tailgaters in the area followed the rule until last fall, when police began seeing problems once again.
“It really got crazy,” Kleibecker said. “There were medical issues, a lot of arrests, so we decided with the university that it was time to make a change in the area. It ended up taking up a lot of police resources.”
Kleibecker said the department’s main priority is making sure students and visitors understand the policy.
“We brought a great deal of attention to it last year, and we still see some alcohol,” Kleibecker said. “We just want to maintain the original intent.”
Neuroscience junior Dylan Bergeon said he finds on-campus tailgating more family-oriented and prefers off-campus tailgating with friends. Even so, he said the alcohol-free zone at Munn Field seemed like a sound idea to him.
“I think that the way they have it right now is set up really well,” Bergeon said.
But communication junior Maxx Shin doesn’t find the tailgating environment on-campus conducive to a fun time, especiallly with a police presence.
Although East Lansing police Capt. Murphy said police don’t generally see many off-campus issues until after football games end, he said open alcohol citations still remain common.
“We don’t have very many problems before the game besides traffic,” Murphy said. “Our problems start after the game’s over. That’s when people start making bad decisions.”